We work in partnership with Wandsworth Borough Council to offer information and advice about Brexit and related issues to EU citizens living in Wandsworth. We help individual residents with issues related to their nationality and also deliver events, workshops and outreach sessions for residents and professionals.
You can sign up to our mailing list to hear about future events or contact us using the form below.
The presentation from our event on the 25th of February 2020 is available online. This event was for groups and organisations that support EU nationals; if you need information about applying for settled status you should use the links below.
What you need to know
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and is in a transition period until the end of the year.
If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK your rights haven’t changed. Until the end of the year the current rules, including free movement, will continue to apply. You’ll still be able to use your EU passport or national identity card to travel. You’ll also be free to live, study, work and access benefits and services here, if you’re eligible for them.
You should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 31 December 2020 as this is when your rights could change, and some benefits might stop if you don’t have settled status. You need to apply even if you:
- were born in the UK but are not a British citizen
- have a permanent residence document
- are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who does not need to apply
- are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen family member.
You don’t need to apply if you have:
- indefinite leave to enter the UK
- indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- British or Irish citizenship.
Applying for settled status
The easiest way to apply is to download the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app on your phone. To use the app you need a biometric identity document and either an Android phone or an iPhone 7 or above. There are other ways to apply if you can’t use the app and organisations that can help you if you have difficulty applying.
To be eligible for settled status you usually need to have lived in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period for 5 years in a row. You need to prove this when you apply but you can do this by giving your National Insurance number, which allows for an automated check of your residence based on tax and benefit records. If this check is successful you won’t need to provide any documents.
If you’ve not lived here for 5 years in a row you may still be eligible for pre-settled status, which gives you fewer rights but can be upgraded to settled status at a later date.
The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021 but you should apply before the end of the year because your rights could change on 1 January 2021.
Information about settled status
You can sign up to our mailing list for updates and the Home Office also has a mailing list for updates about Brexit and the status of EU citizens in the UK.
Get help scanning your documents
If you’re comfortable applying for settled status without assistance but don’t have a compatible phone you can use a document scanning service.
Gov.uk has a directory of ID scanning services and Wandsworth Council offers a free document scanning service for residents of Wandsworth who are applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. To use this service you’ll need to provide proof of residence in the borough (non-residents can use it for a £14 fee).
Get help applying for settled status
If you or someone you know can’t apply without assistance the Home Office has funded a national network of 57 charities and voluntary organisations to help. In Wandsworth this service is provided by South West London Law Centres. You have to be vulnerable or disadvantaged in order to get help from this service.
As part of our funding from Wandsworth Borough Council we can also help you:
- apply for settled status
- challenge decisions about your right to claim benefits in the UK
- understand whether applying for citizenship is the right option for you
- challenge discrimination based on your nationality, for instance if you’ve been unfairly refused work or housing, or told your rights have changed.
This project is currently in very high demand and it may take us up to 14 days to respond. If you need help urgently, for instance because lack of settled status means you can’t access benefits or essential services, you should call or visit us instead.